The Turner Guitar Studio is a small music store that carries a lot of merchandise, we have over 300 guitars, plus keyboards, violins, amplifiers, ukuleles, parts, accessories, and so much more. we also offer musical instruction in all styles of Guitar, Bass, Piano, voice, Violin, and banjo.
On the left hand side of this page is a list of many of the brands we carry, with links to their websites, and on the right you can find links to our other pages with details on the products we have in stock, the services we offer and discounted items we have available. There is also a video blog for the products we've demoed and for help learning some songs we commonly teach.
We hope your experience on our website, and dealings with us in the future exceed your expectations, and are helpful in your musical exploits.
Thanks for visiting our site.

James Turner (Manager)

Aug 30, 2012

Registration Days Sept. 3rd and 4th

Our Annual Registration Days this year are on September 3rd and 4th from 10:00-6:00
  You can of course register for lessons at any time by talking to the teacher of choice either before or after the registration days. however keep in mind some teachers have very limited space, so many will be full after the registration days. The reason we are having these registration days is so that you can come in and meet the different teachers, get equipped with the instruments that work best for you if necessary, and special discounts on select instruments those days only. The instruments that will be on sale will include some korg keyboards, hofner and menzel violins, Aria, Washburn and Vintage acoustics and classicals, Hagstrom and hofner basses as well as many accessories and books. Our renovations will hopefully be done by then as well so you can come check out the new waiting room and window displays. To register ahead of time please visit us in store, or call the teacher you would like to register with. Here is all the contact information you will need. 

Theodore (beginner to advanced guitar in all styles, as well as banjo, bass, and ukulele) 780-986-2251 or 780-915-7676

James (beginner to intermediate in all styles of guitar and bass) 780-278-3679

Marissa (beginner to advanced piano and voice) 780-985-2831

Eugene (beginner to advanced violin and fiddle) 780-696-3878 or 780-542-0622

Joseph (beginner to advanced classical guitar) 780-722-0186

If you need advice on which teacher would be best suited for you or your child please call me (James) at 780-278-3679 or visit us in store and we will figure it out. 

Some things to consider when thinking about music lessons

Choosing a discipline 
  Most people have a pretty good idea of what instrument they are interested in learning right off the bat, but if you are having difficulty deciding, here is some helpful information. 
  First off, it's always best to choose something with an easy learning curve to start off with. Something like piano for example is very simple physically, so as long as you have a sense of rhythm you should be able to pick up on it quite quickly. Bass is also very simple to start off with, though it is rather boring to practice bass without accompaniment... usually it's best to learn after having played guitar for a year or 2. If you have your heart set on guitar, but are worried about the physical difficulty of playing it, a few things that will help out a great deal are 1) a good instrument that is easy to play (classical guitars are easiest and least expensive, but electrics or slightly higher end acoustics with good strings can be a huge help as well) 2)a good teacher that can show you how to hold the guitar properly. There are countless numbers of people who have attempted guitar by themselves or had a poorly trained teacher and ended up quitting because they couldn't get the guitar to work due to poor technique. 3) play the style you are interested in playing. Some teachers will try to fit you to their style of playing and the songs they are interested in, and though you may learn something, it is much less enjoyable to play than when you are learning the songs you know and love right from the start. You will end up practicing more, and will improve much faster than if you don't know or like the songs you are playing. 
   Understand that every instrument has its easy things about it as well as it's difficult things. No matter what you are playing it will take a lot of time and practice to become a good player. Don't let this discourage you, because there is nothing more enjoyable or rewarding than playing music. Just don't expect it to be easy, because it isn't and you will be disappointed if you expect to be a Rock star after only a few months. Just learn what you can, practice as much as you can, and it will come to you in time. Just don't give up or get discouraged.

  Choosing an instrument
  One of the most important parts of learning an instrument which I touched on earlier, is having a proper instrument that allows you to play it easily and will sound good. Too many times (twice today) I've seen people trying to learn on cheap instruments that are no better than chew toys. They always say "I don't want to spend to much until I know if they will like it". I can understand that mentality, I hate spending money that I don't have to aswell, but if you or your kid wants to learn an instrument, you will never be able to do it on something that doesn't work properly. I'm not saying you need to spend 3000.00 dollars buying some high end professional guitar either, but spending 200-300 dollars instead of 50-100 isn't really that much extra investment (especially since you are paying that much for a few months of lessons anyway) but it will significantly improve your ability to learn the instrument. There's nothing worse than seeing someone with great potential quitting music lessons because they think they suck, when really it's just their instrument that sucks. Spending an extra $200.00 could potentially even save you money down the road, since you will learn faster and require less lessons, and since higher quality guitars last much longer than the really cheap ones, they will have a much better resale value once it's time to upgrade your instrument or if you still decide to quit. For your own sake, please buy a proper guitar! And at all costs, avoid First act and Academy brand guitars... I can't imagine a worse instrument to learn on than either of those.

Choosing a teacher
  When searching out a teacher for you or your child, consider more than just accolades. Many teachers with many years of experience and lots of training aren't very good instructors simply because they don't understand how to teach. Most teachers use very specific ways of teaching and expect the student to fit into their program. For some students these teachers are fine because they suit the way the student learns. However, for a large number of other students the teacher is useless because he can't see past his own way of playing and teaching, and just assumes that the student isn't cut out for guitar. A good teacher will try to understand the difficulties that the student is having and try to problem solve solutions to those difficulties.  
   I wont pretend that I am a great teacher, because I know that with my limited experience it just takes me longer to find solutions to the problems of the student. But I know that I am a good teacher, because I am finding those solutions. Sometimes it's a few weeks before I find a way to play something that the student is able to understand and do, but I do find those solutions. This is the most important thing that experience brings, so good teachers will become great teachers as they find these solutions and become quicker at figuring out the students issues in order to apply the correct solutions. But a teacher who doesn't search out these solutions will never become a great teacher even after 30 or 40 years because there will still be lots of students who don't fit that particular way of learning and will end up quitting when they actually have potential and interest. 
   It is hard to know whether or not a teacher will be good before talking lessons from them so probably the most you can do is try it out for a short while. If you can understand the way they explain things, and if they are actively trying to find ways of making things easier for you then they will most likely be good. The teachers to watch out for are the ones that simply give you stuff to practice without explanation, and the ones that simply teach you songs for the sake of learning the song. A good teacher will attempt to teach you how to teach yourself, rather than just showing you pieces of music to learn without any real reasoning behind it. If your child is taking lessons, perhaps sit in the lesson for the first few just to make sure that they are doing their jobs properly and that you child understands what the teacher is trying to teach them. If the teacher isn't versatile he could still work out well for you or your child as long as the learning styles go well together, so keep that in mind as well. 
   Ultimately however, becoming a good musician is mostly up to you. The best instrument, and the best teacher can't even make an extremely talented individual a good player if the drive and the passion isn't there. So whatever instrument you decide to take, or teacher you decide to study under, just be sure it's what you are most interested in. Just keep motivated and practice as much as you can, and you will certainly go far with it. Some people are blessed with talent, but that's not everything... it helps you learn quicker but that's all. The ones with the passion for music are the ones who are truly blessed, because they can learn regardless of talent.

Aug 9, 2012

Lots of New Stuff

It's been a while since I've done an update on our inventory, so there are a lot of things to cover.

  Most recently, and I think most importantly, the new Hofner HM88 concert classical guitar.
  This is definitely one of my top 10 favourite guitars I've ever played in terms of looks, and sound, and it's well up there in terms of play-ability and value for money as well. First I'll talk about the looks, which are fairly traditional granted, but what do you expect from a classical guitar. Even amidst this very traditional classical shape however, there are hints at something much more mature and modern, like the way the machine heads are engraved, and the way they inlay the wood in the rosette to look like the iris of an eye. The solid rosewood back and sides is polished in a high gloss finish which makes it look stunning, and the Spruce top is unfinished in order to give the guitar the maximum volume, projection, and tone possible. The German Master Luthiers haven't left a single detectable flaw in the finish and build of this brilliant instrument.
  The sound of the guitar straight out of the box is immense! For a brand new guitar it sounds open and rich, and very loud. And as any classical player knows, that will only get better with age. Part of the reason this guitar sounds as phenomenal as it does is the fact that every Master series classical from Hofner is only made from tone woods that have been selected by the luthiers from the forest, and have been naturally aged in Hofner's warehouse. This top grade quality solid tone wood is ideal for building guitars that will last a long time, age well, and sound amazing. The master series guitars are also built by the Master Luthiers, meaning that there is a certain attention to detail that you don't get even with many other hand built guitars.
  I should warn you, all this doesn't come cheap, but compared to most guitars of it's caliber, it's about half the price. Really the only guitar I could compare it to in the store right now would be the Masaki Sakurai from Japan, but that lists at $8000.00, and this is definitely a contender with that in my mind even though it's well under half that price. As I've been saying for the last year (since we started carrying Hofner), they are certainly doing something right over there to be able to bring us the quality they do throughout their lines, without being as expensive as stuff that is much inferior in quality.
  Anyway, here are some pictures that truly don't do it justice in the slightest.

Then we have the Parker RF622GG
This is a US built Parker NiteFly with the radial neck joint, Parker vibrato with the Ghost Piezo pick-ups, 2 Seymour Duncan Humbuckers, and Sperzel Trim-Lok machine heads. These Parker guitars are quickly sweeping my heart off it's feet as my favourite electric guitars on the market. They certainly don't offer the value for money that Hagstrom does, and they aren't as versatile of company as Gary Levinson's Blade guitars. But from a sheer thrill factor when playing it, there really isn't anything that comes close. When I'm playing it full out on the Humbuckers and doing wicked lead riffs, gently plucking away on the ghost piezos, or exploring some completely undiscovered tonal area in between, the rest of the world just disappears. This is because it's just so easy to play, there is nothing limiting my ability to bring the music inside myself to the outside, other than my own physical and mental limitations. And that's truly the way it should be when you play guitar, if you have something like high string action, an uncomfortable guitar, or a bad sounding pick-up, what comes out of that speaker isn't completely what it could and should have been, and that's a shame. I'm not saying this guitar will make you a better player (though it will help a lot), but I am saying that it is pretty much as close as I've come to the perfect playing experience, and I highly recommend you try it out. 
Oh and I think it looks fantastic too! 
Parker Nitefly RF622GG

Gibson Songwriter Deluxe 12-string acoustic.
This is a guitar I got ahold of on a trade, it's in great condition, sounds superb, and plays... well like a 12-string, which isn't awesome, but hey, what do you expect? It Has Grover machine heads, solid rosewood back and sides, and a solid spruce top in a dreadnaught shaped body. There is a good deal of bass projection, but like all 12-strings, it's definitely focused on the treble side of things, and it's got a great deal of volume as well. 
Hagstrom HL550 Jazz guitar
  It has a completely hollow body without the need of a tone block for mounting Humbuckers because it has only a single floating humbucker in the neck position. The Body is made entirely of Mahogany, which is rather odd for a guitar of this type, but it works well since it gets rid of a bit of the very tinny sound you get from sticking acoustic strings on what is essentially an acoustic guitar. However, I would still personally put a set of acoustic strings on to give it the extra tone and volume needed to play it acoustically properly. It's in a matte finish, so you don't need to worry  about fingerprints, and the composite fingerboard and H-Expander truss rod will ensure that it will play well for years to come, and boy does it play well! Plugged in it sounds great as well, with a lot of body to the sound, and a rather deep tone that you don't often get in Jazz guitars. You do lose some versatility in tone due to the lack of a second pick-up, but it easily makes up for that by being able to play it acoustically.
Samson Carbon 49
This is a brand new keyboard controller from Samson Technologies which is made to work with your computer or specifically your Ipad. The Carbon 49 has 49 semi-weighted, velocity sensitive keys, transpose and octave up down controls, as well as USB and Midi outputs. It is designed to work with an Ipad specifically, with a built in Ipad stand, as well as the ability to directly control specific iPad apps such as Garage band, it can even be powered directly by your iPad, so you can use this very portable keyboard anywhere. It is compatible with Mac or Windows operating systems, and comes with Native Instruments Komplete elements intallation DVD which give you over 1000 sounds that you can use with the keyboard. Beyond all the features and portability however is the price, since it's just over a hundred dollars!